I've noticed a gradual change in the way used building-materials retailers respond to customer expectations.

Twenty-five or thirty years ago, retailers could put anything anywhere and it would sell - in fact, many outlets for used materials were simply open yards. But as the number of stores and resulting competition have increased, customers have grown more demanding. 

I’m deeply grateful to everyone who helped TRP fulfill its mission in 2017. Thank you! We’re entering our 25th year and, while it’s never been particularly easy, we’re still growing, still vital, and still keeping quality used building materials moving through the system instead of rotting in the landfill.

Like many organizations in the construction trades, TRP doesn’t have enough field people available to find and execute potential contracts. The cost of keeping talented workers has risen dramatically.

By Ted Reiff

I live in La Mesa, California, a suburb of 60,000 immediately east of San Diego. In early November, the La Mesa Historical Society held its annual Historic Home Tour. The tour included seven residences located in a hilly section of the city called La Mesa Highlands, where every home is different and many sit on coveted view lots.

By Ted Reiff

Ever gaze in wonder and unease as one or more construction workers climb about a rooftop with no safety gear? No hardhat or proper footwear, and certainly no lanyard?

By Ted Reiff

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, I telephoned Houston TRP Area Associate Caroline Kostak to see how she fared. Caroline is a former NASA flight controller (shuttle and space station programs) whose husband is a NASA manager. Since connecting with TRP, Caroline has been an industrious, enthusiastic asset in the area and...

By Ted Reiff

There's a worldwide "repair movement" underway. That's a fact I didn't know until very recently, when a reader sent me several news articles that describe various aspects of the movement.

More Space = More Great Materials

As you probably know, the TRP home office and retail warehouse are located on a large piece of Oakland real estate owned by St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP). For the past 10 years we have shared that space with Habitat for Humanity's East Bay ReStore and St. Vincent de Paul's Oakland thrift store and corporate office.

While TRP has successfully expanded the practice of deconstruction across the entire spectrum of residential construction, we have had little impact on the commercial world. I've done some research in the area, and TRP has completed a few light commercial projects, but I still struggle with the logistical and technical aspects of developing the commercial sector.

Individuals and organizations in the reuse business must decide what types of materials to stock, use and sell. For example, wood-working crafters focus on lumber—anything from logs and beams to barn siding. Sculptors often use salvaged metal, while other artists incorporate vintage glass, wood, fabric and discarded objects in their works.

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